If it's been said or written once, it's been a thousand times: In a season of ugliness and growing pains, Derrick Rose has been a bright spot. He's not always perfect. He has a lot of growing to do. But it's very clear he's the future of the Bulls franchise, the one cause for excitement in the midst of an otherwise disappointing season.
One constant about Rose's season, other than his ability, has been his injuries -- from the beginning of the year he's had slight issues in his knees, his back, his legs, and now, most recently, his ankle, which he apparently re-tweaked during a pair of dunks in the Bulls' win over Phoenix Saturday. Rose asked out of the game twice thanks to his soreness. He claims the injuries are nothing, and the Bulls are in the middle of a little win streak here ("Vinny's stay of execution," as the ever-sunny Blog a Bull put it) so Rose isn't planning on missing time.
Here's our question: Should he?
This is going to seem a simplistic argument. We'll cop to that immediately. But here's the rub: Why press Rose into action, or allow him to play, if he's still battling these minor injuries? Rose's value lies not only in his present-day ability but in the places he could take the Bulls; his future is what really matters. Why wear him down? Why grind on him? Give him a couple of games off, let him rest for a week, whatever. The NBA season is long and daunting for rookies, even those like Rose who have played AAU year-round their entire lives. The physical brand of hoops in the NBA is different from the casual talent-show nature of top-flight AAU. This is the greatest basketball challenge of Derrick Rose's life. Why break him down?
He says he's fine, and he probably is, but sometimes everyone needs a little rest. Derrick should take his before those nagging injuries become something worse.